Marseille by First Class rail on daytime trains – direct service
Prices starting from £549 per person
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Enjoy a 5-day break by First Class Rail staying at the 4-star Grand Hotel Beauvau, a great base from which to explore this diverse French city. Named as a European Capital of Culture in 2013, France’s oldest city has undergone a facelift in recent years which has seen a revamp of the Old Port (the Vieux Port), a new tram system and new museums, restaurants, shops and hotels popping up. Much of the appeal of this multicultural port city is that it is surrounded by the sparkling Mediterranean and enjoys sunny days for much of the year.
Marseille is a rich, pulsating port city that welcomes you with a feast of varied cuisines, such as the local Bouillabaisse (fish soup), smart shops, world music and cultural celebrations. Wander along the coastal tracks that veer around sun-scored coves and sandy beaches. Perhaps venture to the pretty town of Cassis and explore the magnificent Calanques (mini fjords on the coast).
4 night holiday by First Class rail staying in a double room at the Grand Hotel Beauvau (4 star) from £549 per person or in a double room at the InterContinental Marseille Hotel Dieu (5 star) from £649 per person (based on 2 people travelling together)
Direct services depart on Monday, Friday and Saturday in April, May, June, September and October.
Direct services depart from Thursday to Monday in July and August.
Indirect services depart on any date year-round.
Day 1 – London to Marseille
Your holiday begins as you enter the beautifully restored London St. Pancras International Station; take the time to admire the stunning glass roof. Then sit back, relax and watch the countryside glide past as you travel by Eurostar through France and onto Marseille at speeds of up to 186mph. Enjoy the light meal and drinks served on board in your Standard Premier service (formerly 1st class). On arrival make your own way on foot or by taxi to your hotel for the next 4 night’s, the stylish, highly-rated Grand Hotel Beauvau (4 star), a charming and elegant hotel located in the heart of Marseille on the fabulous Vieux Port.
Days 2, 3 and 4 – Marseille
You have 3 full days on the Mediterranean. You might like to wander around the Vieux Port area, Marseille’s focal point since roughly 600 BC. Marvel at the quintessential French architecture along the quais, overlooking the docks speckled with a mixture of fishing and pleasure boats. Marseille’s Panier (Old Town) is a warren of a district which winds up the hill to the north of the Vieux Port and claims to be the oldest urban quartier in France. The striking Byzantine architecture of the Notre-Dame-de-la Garde Cathedral is well worth a visit and offers excellent panoramic views along the coastline and out to sea.
You might like to venture further afield and explore more of this beautiful coastline by taking a trip to Cassis and the Calanques. Cassis is a small picture-postcard fishing village, home to the eponymous liqueur, which gives a kir its colour and sweetness. The Calanques are fjord-like limestone formations, famous for their crystal-clear waters and hidden beaches and grottos. In the evenings you might like to enjoy dinner at some of the fantastic seafood restaurants Marseille has to offer.
Day 5 – Marseille to London
As you return to Marseille St. Charles station and board your Eurostar service for London it is time to say farewell to the French Riviera. Sit back, relax and enjoy your light meal and drinks as your high-speed train whisks you the entire length of France from south to north before returning to the UK and onward to London St. Pancras and the final leg of your journey home.